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New Philosophy of Human Nature

New Philosophy of Human Nature: Neither Known to nor Attained by the Great Ancient Philosophers, Which Will Improve Human Life and Health

Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    New Philosophy of Human Nature
    Book Description:

    This volume is a critical edition of the 1587 treatise by Oliva Sabuco, New Philosophy of Human Nature, written during the Spanish Inquisition. Puzzled by medicines abject failure to find a cure for the plague, Sabuco developed a new theory of human nature as the foundation for her remarkably modern holistic philosophy of medicine. _x000B_Fifty years before Descartes, Sabuco posited a dualism that accounted for mind/body interaction. She was first among the moderns to argue that the brain--not the heart--controls the body. Her account also anticipates the role of cerebrospinal fluid, the relationship between mental and physical health, and the absorption of nutrients through digestion. This extensively annotated translation features an ample introduction demonstrating the works importance to the history of science, philosophy of medicine, and womens studies.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09231-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-ix)
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-40)

    In 1587, Oliva Sabuco de Nantes Barrera publishedNueva Filosofía de la Naturaleza del Hombre(New Philosophy of Human Nature) in Madrid.New Philosophyconsists of seven separately titled treatises. The first three,Knowledge of One’s Self,Composition of the World as It Is, andThings That Will Improve This World and Its Nations, sketch the theoretical outlines and empirical foundation for the next three treatises.Treatments and Remedies of Proper Medicine,Proper Medicine Derived from Human Nature, andBrief Exposition on Human Nature: The Foundations of the Art of Medicineflesh out her theory and apply it to medicine....

  6. Front Material to the 1587 and 1588 Editions
    (pp. 41-46)

    I, Cristobal de Leon, Notary of the Chamber of the King our Lord, and member of His Council testify that the Lords having examined a book entitled New Philosophy, written byDoñaOliva Sabuco who with Their license she ordered printed, they levied it with threemaravediseach folio. And they mandated that before selling it, this levy testimony be stamped on the first page of each copy. As proof thereof, because it was mandated by the mentioned Lords and requested byDoñaOliva, I do testify that this be done in the city of Madrid on February the twelfth...

  7. CHAPTER 1 Knowledge of One’s Self: Three Solitary Shepherd-Philosophers, Antonio, Veronio, [and] Rodonio, Converse
    (pp. 47-132)

    Antonio. How joyful, quiet, and pleasant this place is; it seems to exist for engaging the conversation of the Muses. Let us sit down and relax, because this cheerful sound of the water, the luscious rustling of the trees, [and] the subdued scent of the rose bushes and the prairie invite us to philosophize for a while.

    Veronio. Who is walking along the trail?

    Rodonio. That is Macrobio, my father, going to his family estate.

    Antonio. From his demeanor I’d certainly think he is a youth.

    Rodonio. Yet, in truth, he is more than ninety years old.

    Veronio. How few...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Composition of the World as It Is
    (pp. 133-144)

    Veronio. Antonio, since I already understand the small world (i.e., myself), it seems to me that it is some kind of foolishness to live in this big world and not also understand it and know how it is. Knowing the causes of things produces merriment and joy and is necessary for happiness. Because of this, for my sake you should explain to us in a clear manner so that I could understand how this world is constituted.

    Antonio. I take pleasure in doing so, but because it has been described by many authors, I will be very brief on this...

  9. CHAPTER 3 Things That Will Improve This World and Its Nations
    (pp. 145-157)

    [Rodonio.] Antonio, because you have already improved the small world (i.e., humans) with the understanding of one’s self, one’s emotions, and the causes [of] why one lives and dies, I also understand how this large world is constituted. Now, for the sake of our friendship, tell me, if you know, about other things through which this world and its nations could be improved.

    Antonio. What I believe to be of great harm and disruption in this world are the lawsuits that also kill many with their grievances. Because of their never-ending nature, they consume people’s wealth and bring significant grief...

  10. CHAPTER 4 Treatments and Remedies of Proper Medicine: Through Which Humans Will Be Able to Understand, Control, and Conserve Their Health
    (pp. 158-176)

    Antonio. The most important and basic remedy ofProper Medicineis to harmonize the soul with the body, to remove discord and discontent by [using] the reasoning of the second remedy, and to comfort the brain through the three pillars of health . . . we have mentioned. [There are] the two spiritual [pillars]: joy, contentment or pleasure (which are one and the same), and optimism. Because both pillars are spiritual, [coming] from the soul, they cannot [usually] be expressed nor exercised through any means other than through words. However, it is also possible to exercise them through other external...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Proper Medicine Derived from Human Nature: With Clarity and Evidence It Demonstrates How, Due to Its Fundamental Principles, Medicine as Written and Practiced Is Inaccurate. This Dialogue Presents to the World Proper Medicine through Which Premature or Violent Death Can Be Avoided
    (pp. 177-252)
    Doña Oliva Sabuco Barrera

    Letter in Which Doña Oliva Asks for Assistance and Protection against Those Who Would Want to Emulate This Book.

    To the most illustrious SirDonFrancisco Zapata, Count of Barajas, President of Castile, and [member] of His Majesty’s State Council,DoñaOliva Sabuco, a humble servant, wishes health, grace, and eternal happiness.

    It is a natural thing, illustrious Sir, that [from] similarities in temperament and commitment ensue love, interest, and desire to help. I see in your most illustrious person a concern and dedication so unusual and rare, and so forgotten and which very few people possess, that is, improving...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Brief Exposition on Human Nature: The Foundations of the Art of Medicine
    (pp. 253-270)

    Antonio. What are you doing, Doctor? Do you intend to consider only the stomach? Cleanse the brain, fortify the brain, make it happy. Build its internal optimism with your words. Take away from it its heavy worries, its tedium, its fears, its sorrows, and the discord of the [rational] soul. The root, cause, origin, and workshop of the good and badchilo,² illnesses, and health reside in the brain affected by these things. Here are the affections, i.e., the perturbations, the changes, and the passions. Here is the sensitive [soul], the alteration, and [origin of] all movement. Here is the...

  13. CHAPTER 7 Proper Philosophy of the Nature of Composite Things, of Humans, and of the World, Unknown to the Ancients
    (pp. 271-314)

    In this Dialogue of Proper Philosophy a Medical Doctor and the Shepherd Antonio Speak.

    Doctor. Since you have revealed to us so many hidden things about nature, tell us something about the nature of the world.

    Antonio. I will. But where are you coming from?

    Doctor. From seeing Rodonio, who is sick.

    Antonio. Of what sickness, please?

    Doctor. He has a kind of rotten fever.

    Antonio. Ha, ha, ha!!

    Doctor. Why do you laugh?

    Antonio. I laugh at the rottenness of all of you: no fever comes from rottenness but [from]antiperistasis

    Doctor. What new deliria are these, Antonio? It...

  14. APPENDIX 1: Original Castilian Titles and Subtitles
    (pp. 315-322)
  15. APPENDIX 2: Last Will and Testament of Miguel Sabuco
    (pp. 323-328)
    (pp. 329-334)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 335-340)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 341-343)